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Coil Packs Going Out//vsc And Ce Light


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Hi: I've got a '99 ES300 and recently let my daughter have it to move to the NW (Portland, OR area)

On the trip up there from Dallas, TX, the VSC and CE light came on---had our son who was accompanying her check the oil and general engine stuff to determine the problem. Nothing obvious, so they continued, car was running fine. They were in a desolate part of Wyoming, so I made the decision to tell her to monitor the car performance and continue the trip...she completed the trip without incident, but two days later, the car began running rough, she had a coil pack go out. (Lexus dealer repair) Then a week after that, another went out. I'm probably paying the price for having her drive it, but it was an unusual circumstance. Any ideas on what would cause the faults in the coil packs? Was running the car with the CE light on responsible? Should I have her get anything else checked to prevent further problems?

Thanks in Advance,

Paul McCracken

'99 ES300

'91 Landcruiser

'05 Corolla S

'79 280ZX

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how many miles on the car and what were the stored trouble codes that initially set off the TRAC and CEL lights?

keep in mind, the coil pack is an electronic device that in time will need to be replaced. Depending on the model year, you have three or six coil packs. If one goes then you can be sure that the others most likely will follow suit. If they are the three up front, then they are an easy repair for any shade tree mechanic. . . .thus saving you the Lexus hourly repair rate.

Depending on who you talk to, most repair technicians will tell you to replace them between 100 and 120k miles. Think of older model cars with spark plug wires, those wires of yesturday are similar to the coil packs, eventually they break down as well and need replacing.

What causes it? most commonly is age.

steviej

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Hi: I've got a '99 ES300 and recently let my daughter have it to move to the NW (Portland, OR area)

On the trip up there from Dallas, TX, the VSC and CE light came on---had our son who was accompanying her check the oil and general engine stuff to determine the problem. Nothing obvious, so they continued, car was running fine. They were in a desolate part of Wyoming, so I made the decision to tell her to monitor the car performance and continue the trip...she completed the trip without incident, but two days later, the car began running rough, she had a coil pack go out. (Lexus dealer repair) Then a week after that, another went out. I'm probably paying the price for having her drive it, but it was an unusual circumstance. Any ideas on what would cause the faults in the coil packs? Was running the car with the CE light on responsible? Should I have her get anything else checked to prevent further problems?

Thanks in Advance,

Paul McCracken

'99 ES300

'91 Landcruiser

'05 Corolla S

'79 280ZX

Corrosion on the spring in the coil pack to the plug would cause arcing and possible coil pack failure. Did you wash the engine with water recently? Moisture buildup in the plug hole could cause the corrosion...

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Looks like your daughter made it up here just in time for a nice little heat wave... should be a great time to get out and check out the area (or head to the coast or Mt. Hood to cool off).

Steviej is right on money with coil pack failure mainly being due to age and cyclic wear... an all out trip from Texas is enough to put a nice strain on older coil packs, especially if it is one of the engine versions that share coil packs (some engines have an individual coil pack on each cylinder, but others share one (of three) coil pack between two cylinders... a lot more stress per coil pack). I've gone through two coil packs on our 1999 RX300 (which is similar in design).

It would be interesting to know what the original fault was to trip the CEL in the first place. Was the CEL on solid, or flashing? A flashing CEL usually accompanies a coil pack failure, for a flashing CEL indicates a problem that will effect the engine's power/performance.

Just as an alternative, if you are looking for a fantastic shop who knows these vehicles inside and out and are excellent at diagnostics and repair without the dealership pricing, Todd's Import Automotive is where we take both our Lexus's - http://www.toddsimport.com/ ...Todd is a very nice guy and he's got a great team. I'm pretty picky about who touches my vehicles, and I trust these guys. They even have free loaner cars they will let you use. Although, if you feel more comfortable with taking it to a dealership, Lexus of Portland has a gorgeous service department... must be like 20 bays, and the place is spotless (picked up a part there today).

In the short, the ES is a well built and reliable car... just have your daughter check any codes that pop up with the CEL (any Autozone or Checker around here will check and identify CEL codes for free) and be on top of addressing them.

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how many miles on the car and what were the stored trouble codes that initially set off the TRAC and CEL lights?

keep in mind, the coil pack is an electronic device that in time will need to be replaced. Depending on the model year, you have three or six coil packs. If one goes then you can be sure that the others most likely will follow suit. If they are the three up front, then they are an easy repair for any shade tree mechanic. . . .thus saving you the Lexus hourly repair rate.

Depending on who you talk to, most repair technicians will tell you to replace them between 100 and 120k miles. Think of older model cars with spark plug wires, those wires of yesturday are similar to the coil packs, eventually they break down as well and need replacing.

What causes it? most commonly is age.

steviej

STEVE:

102K miles on it. I don't know what codes they got, but the service manager told me they pointed right to the coil pack.

$315 installed.

They did the next one for around half that....since it had been only a week from the last visit.

Thanks,

Paul

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STEVE:

102K miles on it. I don't know what codes they got, but the service manager told me they pointed right to the coil pack.

$315 installed.

They did the next one for around half that....since it had been only a week from the last visit.

Thanks,

Paul

sounds about right.

chalk it up to normal wear and tear.

steviej

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